(WIVB) – Gyms, salons, barbershops and personal care services in the orange zone of Erie County are closed for the foreseeable future.
But in Niagara County, they are open for business because the area is not in the orange zone.
Now the people of Erie County choose to travel north for these services.
Some companies we spoke to say they are already seeing the effect of closing Erie County. The owners of the Synergy hair studio in Lockport called to book appointments all week.
Phone calls have definitely increased significantly. We were overwhelmed with phone calls from customers in Erie County and we are grateful for that, we really are.
Joseph Lagreka, Synergy Hair Studio
Owner Joseph Lagreca says he is committed to taking extra precautions during this business because he does not want Niagara County to fall victim to the closure of microclusters in the state.
Lagreca continues: “Seeing part of this early closure was definitely a surprise to us. Fortunately, here in Niagara County, we are still open, and I am very grateful for that. But our friends, brothers and sisters in Erie County are not. “
Local leaders say while this is great for local businesses that are hurting the pandemic, they are also concerned that people traveling back and forth between counties could lead to an increase in infection rates.
This is a difficult balance. We have watched our business fight and we know that we do not want to go to this next zone, we do not want our business to be closed and we do not want to take this step back. But the ultimate goal is the public health problem of protecting our community and stopping the spread of the virus.
Becky Widish, Niagara County Legislature
Erie County Executive Director Mark Poloncarz said: “Restrictions are being introduced to save lives. Nobody wants to stop the economy. Nobody cares. We want to save lives. ”